Arian Foster represents hope

Two teams are underway, a third will be in an hour and the fourth hits the field Monday.

The Texans, Jaguars, Titans and Colts, like their 28 other NFL brothers, are full of hope, and the early story lines are almost all happy ones.

I consider Arian Foster symbolic of this.

The Texans second-year running back is a great guy. I spent time with him during OTAs and enjoyed him very much. The team is really high on him after he played very well in their final two games last season.

That earns him a chance to factor in with Steve Slaton and Ben Tate as the Texans sort things out at running back.

“We are not going to have a battle about how he tries to give his effort or how he meets (expectations),” coach Gary Kubiak said Saturday, according to transcripts from the team. “That’s over. It’s all about football with him. He got his chance and he is going to be a fine player. We are all excited to see what he’s doing right now. We’re looking forward to it.”

But it strikes me as optimistic -- perhaps too optimistic -- that Foster is going to be a big part of the solution at running back based on that small sample size.

That doesn’t mean he’s not a good guy to root for, and based on the competition I think he probably winds up the third guy when it shakes out.

“I wasn’t up at 5:30 this offseason for nothing, so my mentality isn’t, 'This spot is mine,' ” Foster said. “My mentality is, 'This spot is going to get taken. I am going to take it.' That’s my mentality and it’s not cocky, I just put in the work, so I feel like I deserve it.”